Win7 Downgrade Options: Are Not Really An Option

Dennis Faas's picture

Buyers of Windows 7 beware: Microsoft is putting restrictions on downgrades for new PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled.

Readers may recall that Windows Vista had major incompatibilities when it first debuted; as such, many users requested to downgrade to Windows XP.

Windows 7 Downgrade Cut Off Dates

With Windows XP approaching its ends of life, the downgrade rules for Windows 7 are as follows:

If you purchase a PC after April 23, 2010 with Windows 7 pre-installed, Microsoft will only allow you to downgrade to Windows Vista. However, if you purchase a new PC with Windows 7 preinstalled before April 23, 2010, you can still downgrade to Windows XP and then upgrade later when you're ready to migrate.(Source:

Decision could hurt Microsoft

This decision is likely going to hurt the improvement Microsoft made in their handling of introducing Windows 7, which has for the most part been receiving relatively good reviews. Threatening users with Windows Vista will likely wreak havoc on the Windows 7 migration effort.

If you planned on waiting for Windows 7 because you have no desire to run Windows Vista, this isn't good news at all.

Some Unattractive Alternatives Available

There are some unattractive options available, however.

For $90 per PC per year you can take the "Software Assurance" (SA) route which allows you to install any operating system you want. Or, you could buy PCs before the April 23, 2010 deadline and store them until you need them, try to find Windows XP licenses to purchase, and hope Windows 7 isn't as much of a dud as Windows Vista. (Source:

Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet